I’m new to the blogging community and perhaps it’s a bit early to be criticising other bloggers, but I suppose I’m going to piss someone off sooner or later so I may as well get an early start.
Seems a lot of folks are all up in arms over a project called The Rack Browser that, if you click on the link, opens a sidebar full of little close-up pictures of various women’s breasts in various amounts of clothing. Some are completely covered, others have bras of differing modesty containing them, and at least one pair are completely naked. Oh, and at least two of the pics are of guys, brave souls that they are. The owners of the breasts pictured all voluntarily participated in the project and each picture, when clicked on, links back to the blog of whomever that particular pair of breasts belong to. The originator of the idea for this project was a fellow who goes by the name of Hoopty who admits he has a long standing fascination with boobies.
Right, with me so far? It’s basically a little window full of boobie pics that link to the blogs of the women (and men) whose breasts are in the pics. If you haven’t already stopped reading this rant and clicked the link, and if you’re not currently at work, then you might want to do so just to see what all the fuss is about. The majority of pics reveal no more skin than you’d see in your average newspaper advertisement for a bra sale at the local department store. I’ve seen more skin in a Victoria Secret’s television ad in the middle of prime-time than what I see in The Rack Browser. My first reaction to seeing it was amusement moreso than anything else, and I thought it was a pretty clever way to lure visitors to their blogs. I didn’t see where it was anything to be offended by, but others seem to think it is.
Comments I’ve seen about the project have described it as being “trashy” or in “poor taste” or yet another in a long line of examples of the objectification of women. Some folks questioned the motivations held by the women who participated. Some implied they had low self-esteem. As I said at one site where I did pipe up about it, so what if it is trashy? If it’s not your tits on display, why do you care? As long as the women involved weren’t forced into participating, why should it matter why they did it? Why would it make it any better if the project were somehow related to raising funds for breast cancer research as one person suggested? Near naked boobies suddenly become OK when there’s a charitable cause behind them? Has anyone told the Red Cross this? Betcha they’d get a lot more blood donations if they had a few attractive women walking around topless in the blood mobile!
Seriously, I don’t see the harm in a few near-naked boobies being used by their owners to attract visitors to their websites. I don’t see how it suggests the women have anything other than very healthy self-images. If anything, it takes a lot of guts to put a pic of your breasts up on the web where they can be oogled and, perhaps worse, criticised. Hoopty’s motivation behind starting the project may have been entirely prurient in nature, but again, so what? The man likes boobs. I don’t know of too many men who don’t have at least some fascination with them. What’s wrong with celebrating them in some small way? Or are we really headed into an era where the majority of the nation is going to become more Ashcroftian in our views about the acceptability of viewing the naked human form?